I wanted to watch this flick after reading Naseeruddin Shah's autobiography.

The movie also stars Girish Karnad, Shabana Azmi, Amrish Puri, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Smita Patil and is directed by Shyam Benegal. In fact, this is Naseer's and Smita's first film.

Thanks to Amazon who delivered the CDs 2 days late but before Saturday.

The movie is about a small village, the zamindar, his 3 sons and their sexual exploitation of the women. In those days it was common for the rich and high caste guys to rape/sleep with women of the lower caste. They could have sex with any woman whether she was married, a virgin, unwilling... it didn't matter. Their word was law. Even the cops bowed to their will.

Amrish Puri- looking dashing and muscular, is the zamindar. His wife is probably dead since there is no mention of her. He has 3 sons- Naseeruddin Shah, Anant Nag and one other guy. The latter two are always upto no good- gambling, drinking, stealing, picking up women while Naseer is relatively good. 'Good' here is relative because he does not drink or gamble but will join his brothers in stealing the temple deity's gold jewellery. He is also faithful to his wife- Smita Patil.

Everything changes when Girish, a school teacher, along with his wife Shabana move to the village. Naseer falls for Shabana and when his brothers find out, they kidnap her from home. Girish is helpless, none of the villagers help him out, the cop (Kulbhushan) turns him away. He goes to the collector, the newspaper, lawyer but nobody is willing to help.
Naseer does not have the guts to sleep with Shabana but his brothers rape her and she is kept locked in the house. Smita assumes that she has been brought by Naseer's brothers and father and his nice to her. When she sees Naseer going to her room in the night, she completely loses it. And slowly Naseer falls for Shabana. One night he gets drunk enough to sleep with her. What was unclear was whether Shabana also ends up liking him or whether he rapes her.
Girish approaches the temple priest and begs him for help since the village respects the priest and will do as he says. They make a plan... they turn the villagers against Amrish Puri and the family. It takes time but people are enraged enough to barge into their house and kill the family. Naseer escapes with Shabana leaving Smita alone.
In the end, people find Naseer and Shabana and kill them both. While Girish gets shot when he kills Amrish.
Everyone important dies in the end.

Wow!!! What a realistic movie. I won't even comment on the acting because considering the cast that would just be an insult. The emotions are real and characters complicated. There is a scene where Amrish Puri explains to Naseer that he should not develop feelings for Shabana. Every relationship need not have emotions. And he has a wife. Amrish has to think about his daughter in law also. Ironical. It is ok to kidnap a lady and rape her but marrying her would be insulting to the wife. That is exactly the kind of double standards that our society has.

There are no songs except for one in the end. The location and costumes are very real. Superb movie... one that everyone should watch.


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